Lok Sabha Elections: EC Seeks Details From Jairam Ramesh Over 'Amit Shah Called 150 DMs' Claim

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Lok Sabha Elections: EC Seeks Details From Jairam Ramesh Over ‘Amit Shah Called 150 DMs’ Claim

| Updated: June 2, 2024 16:56

The Election Commission of India on Sunday sought factual evidence from senior Jairam Ramesh over his claim that “Union Home Minister Amit Shah had called up 150 District Magistrates and collectors” prior to the counting day on June 4. 

The poll body has written to Ramesh, asking that he produce the evidence for his allegation by 7 p.m. today. 

Ramesh said on Saturday that Amit Shah called up 150 officials, a move that “demonstrated the desperation of the BJP.” He asserted that the officials should not give in to pressure and “uphold the Constitution”.

“The outgoing Home Minister has been calling up DMs/Collectors. So far, he has spoken to 150 of them. This is blatant and brazen intimidation, showing how desperate the BJP is. Let it be very clear: the will of the people shall prevail, and on June 4th, Mr. Modi, Mr. Shah, and the BJP will exit, and the INDIA Janbandhan will be victorious. Officers should not get under any pressure and must uphold the Constitution. They are under watch,” he posted on X (formally Twitter).

In response, the Election Commission stated that none of the officials, including DMs, had received the “undue pressure” that Ramesh had claimed. 

“You being a responsible experienced and very senior leader of a nation party, you must have made such public statement just before the day of counting based on facts, information which you believed to be true. It is requested that details of 150 DMs to whom such calls have been allegedly made by the Home Minister along with the factual matrix basis of your information are shared by 7 pm today so that appropriate action can be taken,” the poll body said in its letter.

“In this regard, it may be noted that during the period of enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct, all officers are under deemed deputation of the commission and report directly to the commission for any directions. However, no DM has reported any such undue influence as alleged by you,” it added.

“As you are aware, the process of counting of votes is a sacred duty cast upon by every Returning Officer and such public statements by you tend to put an element of doubt and thus, deserves to be addressed in the larger public interest,” the poll body further said.

Ramesh responded by stating that although the party has recognised the Election Commission as a constitutional authority, it could not be trusted “given the way it had functioned till now” and urged impartiality.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “The Election Commission is a constitutional body, but it needs to be neutral. People are watching, not only the parties and candidates but also the Election Commission. But, the way the Election Commission has functioned till now, we can’t trust it. Since it’s a constitutional body, we respect it as it has dignity.”

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